2008-04-14 22:52:30

401k Retirement Calculator for Excel

Since I've been promoted, I decided to review my 401k contributions. There are some nice online calculators out there, like Bloomberg's, but I prefer being able to see the exact nature of the calculations, which most online calculators obscure.

Enter the 401k Excel Calculator from Vertex42. It's got all the features of the online calculators, but also lets you see behind the curtains. One nice feature is the ability to randomize the returns per year, allowing a slightly more realistic earnings curve, rather than the exponential curve created by an unchanging return rate.

As good as the Vertex42 calculator is, it does make one critical mistake (which it warns you about, but curiously doesn't prevent): It can contribute more than the legal amount in its calculations. The legal amount changes by age (ie, if you're 50 or older, you can contribute 20,500, otherwise you can only contribute 15,500).

So what I've done is modify the original Vertex42 Excel file, and added a few IF statements which limit the contribution amounts to the legal values. If you'd like to download it, here it is: Modified version of the Vertex42 calculator. Just make sure to visit Vertex42 and give them some love!

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James Conner